Friday, 30 November 2012

An ode to Instagram...

I've been a bit absent from my blog for a while, which is something I'm hoping to put right over the next few weeks.  One of the places I've been while I've not been blogging is Instagram (or IG to its friends and people short of space).

Spinning Leicester Longwool locks
My first IG photo - me spinning some curly yarn

If you haven't already heard of it, Instagram is an app for smartphones that allows you to edit photographs you've taken on your phone using various effects (called filters), which can turn out some arty and retro-looking results.  Once you've edited your photo, you share the pictures with other IG users and also via Twitter and Facebook, if you feel that way inclined.

A relatively new development is a web-based IG profile that people can view online, even if they don't have a smartphone with the Instagram app.  Mine is here and you can see all my photos and the conversations that I've had with people about my pictures.

Hunstanton hovercraft Beach hut at Hunstanton Cley windmill Sophie B on the beach at Cley
A recent holiday to Norfolk condensed into four Instagram photos

Instagram sounds simple enough, but its quite addictive and part of the fun is in finding other Instagram-ers taking photos that you like, so that you can follow their photo stream and chat to them if you're feeling friendly.  I follow a mixture of crafters, artists, cat people, rabbit people, horse people and people who tell a great story through their photos and captions.

It was inevitable that there would be cats on Instagram, since the internet as a whole is groaning with cat photos.  I've only taken a couple of cat photos so far, as I don't currently have a cat of my own and I have to either bother other people's cats, or find cat-related things to photograph...

Crabpot Books cat 
Hassling the shop cat for a photo at Crabpot Books in Norfolk

Junk shop kitten plate
One of a set of four (almost irresistible) kitten plates at a junk shop in Ulverston

One of my recent obsessions is patchwork quilting, which I got into entirely thanks to Instagram.  I started seeing pictures of amazing modern-looking quilts and other patchwork projects that people were working on and photographing as they went along.  I was soon following several inspiring quilters and learning about things I'd never heard of before, like English paper piecing, basting, batting and binding.

It wasn't long before I was up to my neck in fabric and new sewing supplies...
Basting my first ever hexagons Cutting up Liberty fabric for a quilt New rotary cutter Pile of lovely Liberty fabrics
Clockwise from top left: basting hexagons for English paper piecing... cutting squares for patchwork and shredding the scraps for spinning... amassing quite a stash of Liberty tana lawn fabric... playing with my new Tru-Cut rotary cutter

And then it wasn't too much longer before I had my first completed project, which is a frame purse made from square patchwork scraps of Liberty tana lawn fabric...
Pink square patchwork Liberty fabric clutch purse
I made this!  I'm quite proud... :)

So its been worthwhile getting into Instagram, just to discover a new craft that hadn't been on my radar before. I've made another patchwork frame purse, which I'll blog about separately so that I can include links to the places I found tutorials, supplies etc and I've got several other patchwork projects in the pipeline that I'm excited about. I just need to get on and do them!